I agree with EcceHomo and David B 1986: Wow - the opener - a half hour of Mississippi Half Step > Franklin's Tower. Both are excellent! Bobby's El Paso > Mexicali is fun too (it always is - and that's because I'm a cowboy at heart).
This show in retrospect, after eleven freakin' months of horror, is the very beginnings of our daring-do band leader's getting back to decent form, vocally, again perched on the precipice of disaster with tonight's singing, having turned the 28th of October into a complete sonic fiasco - nay catastrophe - a few days before in South Yarmouth (see my very upset and saddened Seamons MTX review). Will Jerry and the band crash and burn again tonight? For the first 5:52 of Half Step, the issue is in question.
You have to have a little patience with getting through 3:45 minutes of a distant B.O.B. AUD which quickly merges into the SBD and two minutes of a clearly straining Jerry to find out. Thankfully, teetering and falling into the abyss is avoided before getting to the music-playing body and Franklin's. Then you can relax into a fun and very uptempo twenty-five minutes.
This has to be one of the shortest shows I can recall in the modern era. And, but for the opener, it's only an average one. The matrix bumps it up to four stars (but just barely) for it to be added to the collection. No "X" Factor from The Boyz tonight. Had to do the usual Soundforge editing of adding reverb to this matrix to soften The Boyz vocals.
March 22, 2016 Subject:
never been to nassau Coliseum
and now I never will. started with the KC Jones, maybe I'll listen to the show in opposite order, for a new twist. They sound clear you can hear their voices......................clearly, no colds that show............ya want me to rate it? How about better than any show I ever saw, unless 10/12/84 compares., but I dunno. Brent sounds good playing Donna on this tape. Listen here.
November 2, 2013 Subject:
Long Island lunacy
I was at this show. Nassau. At the time, it seemed like the Mississippi->Franklin's opener went on forever. I thought I was having time dilation. Now, listening to the recordings years later, it seems this was not so unfounded.
Then, up come a bunch of cowboy/C&W flavored tunes. I remember those like it was yesterday.
A fun, decent, strong, solid show. Four stars
Reviewer:Dave B 1986
May 8, 2013 Subject:
Only a chance to listen to first set so far
but wow - the opener - a half hour of half step - franklins. Both are excellent, interesting strong crescendo in half step jams. Franklin's holds interest throughout - rocks out, slows down, has some nice quiet moments. Sound quality is good once we get a bit into half step.
May 6, 2013 Subject:
Rhodes piano + funky synth goodness
Hunter, thanks for making this special request. I was never a huge fan of the Brent-era Dead until I discovered fall 1979. So much energy and a new sound.
For fans of vintage analog keyboards, like myself, this show has several highlights for me to point out:
1) A rollicking finish to Mississippi Half Step, one of Brent's first, with the Rhodes piano front and center in lockstep with Jerry and Bob after they cross "the lazy river" ... the last 90 seconds of this track are as hot as they get
2) a chugging and funky synthed-out Not Fade Away out of Space... and then, around the 7:00 mark, I hear St Stephen being interpolated over NFA... then at 7:50 Jerry plays one of the most monumental arena rock leads I've ever heard...
Generally speaking, I get a thrill when I discover new Fender Rhodes piano tracks so this is doubly nice because Brent lays it down on most every song during this performance. It's great to hear him on this electromechanical keyboard (versus the terrible MIDI and Yamaha synths he played in the mid-80s to his death). So, this show is not only an amazing recording thanks to the talented Hunter Seamons, but a unique and novel sonic touchstone of the Dead's long and amazing journey!
April 21, 2013 Subject:
Transfer brings strong show to its fullest potential!
The boys were on a stride in Novemeber/December 79'. So Many strong shows in this period. And often overlooked. Theres the Cape Cod shows and the Buffalo Blowout. That Oakland show the day after Christmas and Stanley Pittsburgh. Probably the most collectively overlooked strong tour in the band's history.
Thank god for folks like J.H. Seamons who take time to bring these quality shows to a mature full-bodied balance. Great audience noise not overpowering the performance.
The entire show, but especially the second set is hot. The sound takes a minute to level out during Half-Step but once things are figured out the entire performance is revealed in all of its greatness.
Second set is one for the ages. While looking basic on paper the Miracle> Bertha is rompin and the Jam out of Saint is really experimental but upbeat not loosing any steam, Taking chances paid off that night. The Stella Blue is one of those killer show stopper versions. Casey Jones to close was more common for the period but generally speaking a rarity.
It's so funny to me hearing stories of Brent getting a wrap as "the new guy" and as history telling that of his struggle finding that comfort zone in the band. From the beginning these recordings are testament to his unmatched chemistry with the band, nursing the boys back into high morale and experimentation from some of the burnt later days of Keith/Donna.